In the infamous words of Dory the Fish, sometimes you have to “just keep swimming.” I admire Dory’s tenacity to never give up, despite the murky waters and obstacles. On the other hand, it does seems she is in a bit of denial about the whole situation. Maybe she needs to clarify her intents and solidify her vision so she can truly “Just keep swimming?”
While it may seem ridiculous to be talking about Dory’s life like it is a life of substance when she is actually a made up cartoon character, I think we all realize we have a bit of Dory inside us, or at least we know someone who might be eerily like her. In my life, I often feel like Dory. Dory has an optimistic attitude that keeps her moving but she lacks a purpose to move and a vision on where she is going or how to get there. I have often felt distracted and lost like Dory appears to be through most of her life experiences. Feeling tossed to and fro by the obstacles in front of me all while trying desperately to “just keep swimming.”
Can anyone relate? I think more of us can relate than we want to admit to others…
When I think of purpose, I think of vision. When I think of vision, I think of purpose. Both vision and purpose are critical to success and reaching our goals, but purpose and vision are two distinctly different things.
In the beginning of the movie Finding Nemo, Dory lacks both purpose and vision. As the movie progresses, Dory’s vision continues to be clouded by everything happening around her, but she finds a purpose to guide her forward – find Nemo and return him to Marlin. Until Nemo, she was wandering hopelessly around the ocean, lost in thought, and swimming in no particular direction. Granted, she was still swimming and she didn’t give up, but she had no place to go and no reason to get there.
Once she met Marlin, she found a greater purpose. She still struggled to find her way and remember where she needed to go, similar to the rest of us, but somewhere inside her heart knew where it was headed so she just kept swimming. The greater purpose of finding Nemo kept her going, even when she forgot where she was headed and faced obstacles that wanted to devour her. She still lacked vision, but she did accomplish something, mostly by luck but it still happened.
In the second movie, Dory the Fish, Dory has purpose and vision that keep her moving forward, despite the distractions, despite her character flaws or health issues (memory loss), and despite the obstacles that continue to deter her from her path. Greater purpose and vision together helped her stay focused on her goal of finding out what happened to her family. No matter who was with her or against her, she “just kept swimming” and found her family. She had a lot of support to get there, but her own vision and purpose kept her swimming.
My greater purpose of helping others find their own vision and purpose is keeping me swimming, aka moving forward, despite the overwhelming obstacles and distractions in my path right now. If I am experiencing this, I know there are others like me who struggle as well.
But, what if they don’t even know what their purpose is in life? How hard is it to just keep swimming when you have no place to go and obstacles constantly jump out in front of you?
Dory was blessed, or cursed depending on how you see it, with short term memory loss so she didn’t focus on her lack of vision or the obstacles that she faced. For the rest of us, moving forward when we lack purpose and vision is not as easy because we are aware of how lost we feel. But, what if you don’t have to keep feeling that way? What if you decide today to find your purpose and create a vision for your life? Can you imagine the power behind that act as you “just keep swimming” toward your future? I can…
Knowing where you are going and why you want to get there are the two most important factors in accomplishing your dreams, in accomplishing anything really.
Having a clear vision aligned with a greater purpose in life has the power to guide you like a beacon on a dark night or a current in an ocean of danger.
Vision and purpose, purpose and vision. Distinct but integral. Powerful yet gentle. Necessary but so often forgotten or unknown.
If you don’t know your greater purpose in life or have a vision to accomplish it, there is hope. Helping you find them is my purpose and vision.
Be amazing. Be Brilliant. But, most of all, Be You!